A lot of people are concerned about wilderness in this country, and work hard to defend it.

But what do different people mean when they talk about wilderness? Are they all talking about the same thing?

Redefining Wilderness is a symposium gathering together academics, conservationists, public-lands managers, recreation industry professionals and local community members. The purpose of the symposium is to find new ways of looking at the natural world, and how different groups, disciplines and individuals can work with each other to protect, restore, and come to understand the concept and reality of wilderness.

“What we’re trying to do is to have a truly organic and creative dialogue around our concept of wilderness in the public sphere, the academic sphere, and the professional world,” said Mike Yoshioka of Bay Area Wilderness Training, one of the sponsors of Redefining Wilderness.

The symposium will feature panel discussions of topics such as “The Living Wilderness,” “Toward a Philosophy of Wilderness,” and “The Who and How of Wilderness Use.”

Paul Hughes, executive director of Forests Forever, will participate in a panel discussion of “Wilderness and the Politics of Land Management” on Thursday, Mar. 5 at 11:45 a.m.

In addition to the panel discussions and addresses, there will be workshops in wilderness first aid, backcountry skills, wilderness education and activism. Musical performances and art exhibits will be offered throughout the symposium, and there will be student paper and poster presentations.

Organizations sponsoring the symposium are: Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org); Eco-Students of SFSU; Californians for Western Wilderness (www.caluwild.org); Forests Forever Foundation (www.forestsforever.org); Pacific Leadership Institute (www.pliprograms.org); and Hostelling International, Golden Gate Council (www.norcalhostels.org).

The Redefining Wilderness Symposium will be held in the San Francisco State University Student Center, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, on April 5th and 6th, starting at 9 a.m. For a full schedule of panels, participants and workshops, visit the Bay Area Wilderness Training website at http://www.bawt.org/symposium, or call Mike Yoshioka at (530) 277-5940.


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places